IM Austria

Everything swim, cycle and run

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dan powell
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:32 am

IM Austria

Postby dan powell » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:57 pm

8.5 months of preparation and training culminated in IM Austria last Sunday. There had been quite a few ups and downs with 4-5 weeks of training lost since January due to illness and injury but, on the whole, my preparation had gone well and I was confident of doing what I had set out to achieve.
My family and I travelled out to Klagenfurt on the Thursday prior to the race and had hired an apartment about 10km from the race start. Things went pretty smoothly pre race, though race day seemed to come around very quickly.
Up at 0415, I managed a good breakfast and got to transition for 0515. I pumped my tires up but in removing the pump valve somehow managed to unscrew the entire valve extender on my front tire so it went flat! There was a slight panic but 10mins later everything was sorted, I checked my bags again, went back to my bike to double-check the tire was still inflated and then walked very slowly over to the race start. For the first time in weeks I suddenly felt very calm. I got to the pontoon about 20mins before the ‘off’, watched the first wave go and then lined up in my chosen start position.
The swim was pretty uneventful. It was chaotic but I managed to get away well and held some feet for the first 400m or so then settled into a good rhythm. I struggled to draft for much of the swim and found myself swimming long sections alone but felt like I was in cruise control. The canal section was messy but good fun. The plan had been to exit in about an hour – in the end I managed 58m 20s and ran to T1 with a big smile on my face.
T1 was pretty slow, ensuring I got everything right.
The entire bike section was HR controlled – I hoped to build on a steady first lap, before working a bit harder between hours 2 and 4 before stepping it up again after 4 hours. With hindsight, I executed the plan pretty well though keeping my HR below 145 or 150bpm on the climbs was difficult. The second lap saw the wind and rain get up, making one or two of the sections quite hairy but I loved the bike and hit T2 feeling in great shape having covered the distance in 5hrs 29mins.
Again, T2 was slow with the plan to get my HR below 130bpm during the first 20mins so I could take on nutrition etc. This meant walking the first 2.5kms but ‘the plan’ had served me well until this point so I was sticking to it regardless. This was probably the hardest mental part of the race for me because I felt so good / in control that I wanted to ‘race’.
As we headed out to Krumpendorf on the first lap I finally got to start running – again, it was HR-based though I struggled to stay below the target 145bpm. I was knocking out consistent kms with my HR at 150bpm and knew, unless the wheels came off completely, I was heading for my target. There were sections of the run which I enjoyed and the support was amazing. Between 30-35kms I began to get some stomach cramps and my quads were tight but my km splits were still consistent so I continued to tap out at 150bpm whilst taking on some coke / water at every other aid station. With 4.5km to go I heard the Klagenfurt Town Hall bell toll for 1730 – at this point I picked up the pace slightly knowing that I was going to get home in under 11hrs.
Into the last few hundred meters and I high-fived my way along the finish area, into the final straight and across the line to hear the words “Daniel Powell, you ARE an Ironman”. My finish time of 10h 56m 16s was comfortably within my target and I was absolutely ecstatic.
The sense of relief and satisfaction was overwhelming – I saw my wife and kids all shouting and crying. It didn’t take much to set me off and I promptly spent 20mins sobbing into a cup of coke!
My first Ironman turned out to be a great experience. I learned a lot about myself, how to train, how to be patient, how to go slow, how to ignore everything else going on around me and how to really appreciate the support my family gives me.

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Simon Hemington
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Re: IM Austria

Postby Simon Hemington » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:25 pm

Brilliant write up Dan and well done.
How is the recovery going?
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HHCC Webmaster

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Ian Huntingford
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Location: Hemel Hempstead

Re: IM Austria

Postby Ian Huntingford » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:37 pm

Yes, great achievement, Dan, and really good report.



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Paul Thomson
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Location: (H) Milton Keynes - (W) Hemel Hempstead

Re: IM Austria

Postby Paul Thomson » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:30 pm

Well done Dan - great write up.

Incidentally another club member (and Shires Trier for triathlon) Rob Pinfield also did this event - and came in just a shade under 10:30, so a great time. He was slightly slower than Dan in the swim - approx 1:03, but a good deal faster on the bike - 5:02. That probably means they did similar run times.
A good warm-up event for the National 12 hour that is his next target!

Paul Thomson
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Mike Orton
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:28 pm
Location: Watford

Re: IM Austria

Postby Mike Orton » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:47 am


Welcome to the Ironman club, and what a fantastic debut! You chose a good one to do for your first one out and sounds like everything went really well for you. :D I guess you will be coming down from cloud 9 a bit now so you will need another target :lol:



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